Published on September 16th, 2015 | by Guest1
The Shifting Paradigm of Education
We live in a fast changing world. Science and technology have largely removed the constraints of space and time. Man has been helped to make himself free from drudgery and humdrum of his daily life. His striving, however, for securing the bare necessities of life has been difficult. There has been growth of industrial towns and cities where mass of people work and enjoy their leisure in condition far removed from nature. Achievements of modern science and technology are amazing; automation to spread comforts and leisure; computers to control process and personnel; atomic energy for peaceful purposes or a war of annihilation, Antibiotics for better health and pills for controlling families and diseases.
Worldwide network of communication facilities like internet, radio, television and newspapers has made education both efficient and effective; satellites are engaged in exploring space and delving deep into the mysteries of nature. The ecological changes have been more conspicuous during the last few decades. They are so rapid that it is not possible to understand the implication for various aspects of life. Man is beginning to manipulate genetic inheritance and to control the human psychosomatic functioning.
The majority of children finished school at a younger age in the past, and adjustment to the outside world could take place afterwards. There was little freedom of choice of what to do and where to go; it was largely case of following in fathers or mothers footsteps. The small number who stayed at secondary school were in a closed world of thought and knowledge and in consequence the processes of self realization delayed. Thus the young people were entering an adult world that seemed to be changing very slowly. Until this century, education was reserved for privileged minority. During the last decades only industrial nation provided secondary education for every young person up to the age of 16 to 18. Thus puberty comes earlier and school last longer. Due to this factor, social adjustment is being delayed and transmission of young people into adult life is becoming more difficult.
The modern youth are adversely affected by the attitude and conduct of the elders who often flout ethical values and try to maintain status quo in every field. Parents and elders often labour under the impression that their children irrespective of their age are still in their infancy. The youth also feels impatient to show their maturity and newly acquired superiority in qualification and position. There are also conflicts of values, for example traditional values with modern values in the same society. Academic leadership is not fourth coming from most of the modern teachers since most of their freedom of spirit is either stifled or controlled by excessive interference from intimidating authoritarianism. The youth have little or no confidence in their teacher’s judgment and integrity. Consequently they do not owe allegiance and loyalty to their teachers.
To promote excellence in life is the ultimate objective of education that largely depends upon the value system which is nourished through ages. Education has a catalystic role to play in bringing about the change in values and enhancing the quantum and nature of knowledge, skills, methods and techniques that are the principal agents for the acquisition, preservation and dissemination of culture. An educated or cultured person must be committed to the great values and aspirations, must be objective and scientific in outlook, must be tolerant, flexible and willing to work with others and dedicated to the values of equality and social justice.
There must be closer relationship between education and society. Our emerging world will be a learning society. Besides formal education, various models of adult education, non-formal education, distance learning, on-line education and so on will continue to flourish with the help of modern methods, media and materials. All learners will move without any discrimination whatsoever in an open education system, towards the path of individual growth and development. There will be a wide variety of choices and all sectors of society will be structurally integrated. Thus education will become creative, total, individualized and self directed. Such a situation is irresistible and irreversible. It is the cultural revolution of our time.
Let us conclude by suggesting that, mankind is now faced with the choice between survival and self-destruction. It must opt for new designs of survival and life, not death and destruction. Education must respond rationally and creatively to the challenges and responsibilities of the times. It is time we join hands to usher in the angles of peace, love, optimism and confidence so that the world will be a better place to live and prosper, for everyone.
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